What is a Customs Broker & Why Do I Need One?

Hundreds of thousands of importers deal with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) annually, and many rely on the services of a customs broker to get their shipments cleared through Customs. For each declaration an abundance of required information must be obtained. Things like the parties involved, invoices, product descriptions in layman's terms, country of manufacture, tariff classifications, and intended use.

 

Importers count on customs brokers to gather all required information, obtain clearance of your goods through customs, and pay any duties/taxes owing

 

But many importers are learning that it is only part of the value the broker brings. Customs brokers are now helping importers with payments of 3rd party vendors, arranging transportation, and then leveraging that information to transform your own data into critical business intelligence for future planning purposes. Customs brokers are offering a growing range of specialized services to help importers develop new product lines, explore new markets, evaluate the impact of global change, and cut costs.

 

Customs brokers leverage electronic communications with CBSA, and other government agencies that control the importation and exportation of goods, and do not need to have an actual office at the port of entry to submit a declaration.

 

All imports to Canada require financial security to be posted with Customs in order to avoid paying Customs upon arrival to obtain release. Brokers have already posted release prior to payment financial security with CBSA, can take care of all duties & tax payable to CBSA on your behalf, and invoice you with potentially favorable payment terms.

Benefits of using a Customs Broker?

  • Trade Advice

  • Convenience of not having to go to the port myself

  • Payment of Duties & Tax

  • Avoids Delay & Penalty

 

 

What is included in a brokerage fee?

 

A customs clearance fee is to cover the cost of preparing and filing a customs declaration.

Declaration fees vary depending on the importer’s volume, value of shipment, complexity of the import, and the level of expertise required.

 

What is not included in a brokerage fee?

 

Services such as advanced research, trade advice, formal rulings, dedicated training, unexpected additional handling on declarations, corrections, appeals, and audit assistance.

 

 

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